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304                          BYZANTINE CHURCHES                        CHAP.
Mehemed force the Gate of Charisius (Edlrne Kapoussi) than they made for the Chora5 and cut the Image to pieces. The church of S. Saviour in the Chora was the first Christian sanctuary to fall into the hands of the Moslem masters of Constantinople.
The building was converted into a mosque by AH Atik Pasha3 Grand. Vizier3 between 1495 an(i I5IJ5 in. the reign of Bajazet II. Gyllius visited the church in 15805 and expatiates upon the beauty of its marble revetment, but makes no reference to its mosaics and frescoes.1 This5 some authorities think3 proves that these decorations were then concealed from view5 because objectionable in a place consecrated to Moslem worship. But the silence of the traveller may be due to the brevity of his description of the church.
There is evidence that the building has suffered much since the Turkish conquest from earthquake and from fires but the precise dates of these disasters cannot be accurately determined. The mosque disappeared from general view until 1860, when it was discovered by a Greek architect, the late Pelopidas D. Kouppas. Mr. Carlton Cumberbatch, then the British Consul at Constantinople, was informed of the fact and spread the news of the fortunate find.
The building was in a pitiful condition. The principal dome and the dome of the diaconicon had fallen in ; the walls and vaults were cracked in many places and black with smoke ; wind, and rain, and snow had long had free course to do what mischief they pleased. , Happily there still remained too much beauty to be ignored, and the Government was persuaded to take the work of restoration in hand. The building now takes rank with the most
1 De top, C.P. iv. c. 4:—Inter palatium Constantini et portam urbis Adrianopolitanam extat asdes in septimo (?) colle, quas etsi jam tot sccula sit intra urbem tarnen etiamnum xpiffrto %c6/>as appellatur, ex eo? quod olim esset extra urbem. Ex tribus partibuss ut mos est Graecorum asdium sacrarum, porticu cingitur. Parietes ejus intrinsecus vestiti crustis marmoris varii quadratis, ita inter se conjunctis ut distinguantur ab immo sursum versus modulis astragalorum, aliorum baccatorum, aliorum ter etiam sine baccis. Supra quadratas crustas dis-currunt tres fasciag et tres velut astragali, quorum duo teretes, supremus quadratus velut regula. Supra fasciara, denticuli 5 supra denticulos, folia Corinthia. Denique marmor sic mensulis dlstinguitur ut in commissuris eluceat labor Corinthicus, Sed is plenior apparet in aede Sophias.